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Do Monetary Policy Announcements Shift Household Expectations?

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  • Daniel J. Lewis
  • Christos Makridis
  • Karel Mertens

Abstract

We use a decade of daily survey data from Gallup to study how monetary policy influences households' beliefs about economic conditions. We first document that public confidence in the state of the economy reacts instantaneously to certain types of macroeconomic news. Next, we show that surprises to the Federal Funds target rate are among the news that have statistically significant and instantaneous effects on economic confidence. Specifically, we find that a surprise increase in the target rate robustly leads to an immediate decline in household confidence, at odds with previous findings that suggest consumers are largely inattentive to economic developments. Monetary policy news about forward guidance and asset purchases does not have similarly clear and robust immediate effects on household beliefs. We document heterogeneity across demographics in the responsiveness of macroeconomic beliefs to aggregate news, and we relate our findings to existing evidence on informational rigidities.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel J. Lewis & Christos Makridis & Karel Mertens, 2019. "Do Monetary Policy Announcements Shift Household Expectations?," Working Papers 1906, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, revised 17 Jan 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1906
    DOI: 10.24149/wp1906r1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
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    12. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2644-2678, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Coibion & Dimitris Georgarakos & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Michael Weber, 2020. "Forward Guidance and Household Expectations," Working Papers 2020-07, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    2. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Edward S. Knotek, 2020. "Average Inflation Targeting and Household Expectations," Working Papers 202026, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    3. Jmaes McNeil, 2020. "Monetary policy and the term structure of Inflation expectations with information frictions," Working Papers daleconwp2020-07, Dalhousie University, Department of Economics.
    4. Ambrocio, Gene & Juselius, Mikael, 2020. "Dealing with the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic – what are the fiscal options?," BoF Economics Review 2/2020, Bank of Finland.
    5. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kumar, Saten & Pedemonte, Mathieu, 2020. "Inflation expectations as a policy tool?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    6. Conrad, Christian & Enders, Zeno & Glas, Alexander, 2020. "The role of information and experience for households' inflation expectations," Working Papers 20, German Research Foundation's Priority Programme 1859 "Experience and Expectation. Historical Foundations of Economic Behaviour", Humboldt University Berlin.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary policy shocks; central bank communication; information rigidities; consumer confidence; high frequency identification;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E70 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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